House & Garden

Live Work Play Marietta

By Chris Norris
Harry Norman Commercial Division

Editor’s Note: When we launched Marietta Magazine key business owners reached out to share their love for Marietta with us. The team at Harry Norman - Cobb Marietta offered to write a column providing uplifting content each issue about Marietta life as loved by those who know best.

Revitalization of cities like Marietta through mixed-use, carefully planned development has enabled them to regain their independent city identities - no longer just a “suburb of Atlanta.”  

IN THE LAST ISSUE, WE FOCUSED ON the amazing recreational opportunities our community offers.  Now let’s talk about the meat and bones of life…the working and the living.  One of the hottest national real estate trends in the past 10 years has been mixed use development.  By definition, mixed use means that commercial real estate and residential real estate are placed in close proximity to each other.  Like most great ideas it is a copy of an older idea with some new lingo attached to it to make it sound fresh.

In the early 1920s Americans began to expand into the suburbs and flee city living.  For our region that meant Marietta ultimately went from a vacation destination to the suburbs and then it just kept growing on and beyond Marietta.  For example, in 1971 Perimeter Mall opened and by 1986 much of the Cobb retail relocated to the new Town Center Mall and there was no retail or much life at all left on the Marietta Square.

Since then there has been an amazing revitalization of the Marietta Square and other smaller cities around Atlanta.  Our cities have regained their identity and escaped the “suburbs of Atlanta” moniker.  The reason for that is that our great city and others like it in the area are live, work, play mixed use developments, just like the new developers try to create all over the metropolitan area.

One of the great things about Marietta is the fact that one can live and work within miles of each other and not waste time commuting long distances.  The primary appealing factor of mixed use is that you can live in one location and spend very little time getting to work.  Then you get home from work you can get your dry cleaning, eat dinner and get groceries without getting back out in traffic.

Marietta is again a thriving city with its own identity and there are many people who make that happen.  Some of the great small businesses that help make our city so special are run by your neighbors and you might not even know it.  When you start to think about your next opportunity to go out or patronize a business consider your neighbor as they really are close by.  They help make our city the great place it is to live and work.

If you need any help finding a house in the city call any of our professionals at Harry Norman, Realtors®. If you want to open a business in Marietta call me, Chris Norris, as I’m the head of the Harry Norman Commercial Division.  I live and work in Marietta too!

Local Business Giving Shout Out to Other Local Businesses

The good folks over at Harry Norman, Realtors - Cobb Marietta never make things “all about them” in this space. This issue, the real estate brokerage over on Whitlock Avenue has chosen to give a shout out to four other local business owners and find out what they love most about Marietta.  Read on!

Traton Homes |

Bill, Milburn, Clif, and Chris Poston own this local home building company. Bill, Clif and Chris all live less than 1 mile from their office on Kennesaw Avenue. You can frequently catch the Postons on the Marietta Square at Two Birds, Shillings, or Thaicoon. They are all excited about the new Marietta Market that is opening and live close enough to walk there.  What they like best about Marietta life is that in the vast suburbs of Cobb County Marietta has small town roots and you see your friends and neighbors in town. Editor’s note: A couple of their downtown Marietta projects include: The Registry at Marietta Square townhomes and North Square townhomes

Two Birds Taphouse |

Jeff and Rachel Byrd, along with their son Dan, own this new Marietta staple.  They live in Keeler Woods and they drive 1.2 miles to work.  Jeff and Rachel moved here in 1987 and what they like best about Marietta is the support of their friends.  They say their business feels like an extension of their church family.  When the Byrds are not at their restaurant they like to frequent Kiosko, Spring, and Hoboken Café on Whitlock as well as the Marietta Theater Company. Editor’s note: They’ve got quite a following on Instagram so head over there to learn when one of their resident bands (Chip McGuire Band, The Hearsay, Battlefield Collective) are playing. We’ve heard Two Birds described as a “Modern Day Cheers.” 

King, Yaklin, & Wilkins LLP

Marietta native, Russ King is a partner at King, Yaklin, & Wilkins LLP.  Russ practices contract and family law and he has a 1.5 mile commute to the his office on the Marietta Square.  Russ went to Marietta High School as did both of his children and at least twice a week Russ can be found on the Square at Two Birds, McCrackens, or Stockyard.  What Russ likes best about Marietta is the mix of history with new on trend eateries. Editor’s note: We believe those who grew up in Marietta, went to Marietta schools, bought Marietta homes, raised their families and built businesses in Marietta are exactly the types of people we like to write about. 

Mayes Ward – Dobbins |

James Southerland is a funeral director at Mayes Ward located just off the Marietta Square on Church Street.  He and his wife, Mary Ansley, live in Oakton and both work less than 5 minutes away from where they work.  Both James and Mary Ansley grew up in Marietta and went to MHS and both of their kids are MHS graduates as well.  Whether they are eating at Shillings or Thaicoon or seeing a movie or musical act at the Strand the Southerlands are frequently seen on the square.  They say the proximity of their house to where they work and recreate is the best thing about Marietta. Editor’s note: Here is another individual who has grown up in Marietta, raised his family here, and continues to live, work and play here even as his own children have grown. We visited their website and were greeted with, “Everyone’s life is unique, worth celebrating and honoring.” We couldn’t agree more.

Remodeling Expectations One Kitchen at a Time

Remodeling Expectations One Kitchen at a Time


Kitchen Tune-Up

THE KITCHEN IS THE HEART OF THE HOME, a place where families and friends engage in quality time and good meals. It is a gathering space that should bring joy, encourage conversation and capture the essence of a household. Refreshing your kitchen’s look (and function) is one of the best investments you can make, and the process doesn’t have to be expensive, lengthy or disruptive.

Owners, Kitchen Tune-Up (East Cobb + Roswell) JON & JACK SPICER

Owners, Kitchen Tune-Up (East Cobb + Roswell)

In Fall of last year, father-son team Jack and Jon Spicer embarked on a project to co-own a business together and they ultimately decided on Kitchen Tune-Up, a franchise with more than three decades in the industry and 170 franchisees, or “Tunies,” as they call each other.

Jack and Jon, referring to themselves with a laugh as “Baby Tunies,” opened their independent franchise in February 2019 and were initially attracted to the profound sense of community and professionalism at the Kitchen Tune-Up home office. “They are very strong, supportive and knowledgeable of the industry,” said Jack. “Even though it’s a big operation, they make it feel like family.”

2019 1 Ceranec Refacing BW windom snow white and fog Kinney before.jpg


dark wood, cabinets, dark counters, outdated knobs and pulls, outdated light fixtures, painted backsplash

After training in Aberdeen, South Dakota, this father and son brought expertise to their own southern territory, Roswell and East Cobb. As a former physician, Jack applies his customer service skills, and has always been keen on do-it-yourself projects and remodeling. In his recent home improvement repertoire, he has finished three basements, independently and up to code, including all of the electrical, plumbing and tiling. His son, Jon, is a teacher by trade who found solidarity in his father’s passion for remodeling. In business, their strengths complement each other well. Jack is skilled at marketing, sales and client relationships, whereas Jon has a management background and is adaptable to any situations that may arise. Jack is also grateful for Jon’s “millennial expertise” when it comes to social media and current design trends.

after 2019 1 Ceranec Refacing BW windom snow white and fog Kinney after1.jpg


BRIGHT!!! white cabinets, quartz counters, new drawer knobs/pulls, modern backsplash and light fixtures

The Kitchen Tune-Up slogan is,

“Remodeling your expectations.”

The franchise distinguishes themselves with trust points like customer service, timeliness, respect for client homes, and open communication. They offer several options for revamping a tired or outdated kitchen, including – in ascending budget order – the standard “Tune-Up,” cabinet painting, replacing doors, refacing and completely replacing the cabinets. Refacing is their “claim to fame,” which is cost-effective and involves new drawers and door fronts, matching veneers to existing cabinets and all of it carries a “brand-new” look. Two criteria must be met in order to reface – you must be satisfied with your current layout, and the existing cabinet boxes must be sturdy and in good shape.

Each new cabinet employs soft-close technology and comes with many design options and accessories including knobs, pulls, Lazy Susans and roll-out trays. White cabinetry is the easiest to update and is a popular choice, according to Jack. Despite the name, Kitchen Tune-Up also applies their core tenets to bathroom remodeling. Most incredible is their ability to complete a standard-size project in no time – between three and five days!